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Recent blog posts
03
Oct
0

Meet Trainer Margit Hrasdil

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b2ap3_thumbnail_margit_20150224-172117_1.jpgMargit Hrasdil is an MBS Trainer and Practitioner based in Bolzano, Italy, where she teaches locally as well as in MBS Academy’s international Trainings. Prior to her training in the Feldenkrais Method (1995) and her advanced study with MBS Academy, Margit worked for many years as a physical education teacher and as a track and field coach in elementary and secondary schools. Here, Margit speaks with Danielle Hill about her background in athletics and education, and her continuing experiences with Mind Body Studies.

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12
Sep
0

Fitness Series: Optimize your Workout Part II

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Check out Part I here!

PART II

b2ap3_thumbnail_fitness12_20150224-172320_1.jpgThere are three main causes for the high drop-out rate in gym- membership, a challenge which gyms are constantly battling:

  1. Boredom with routines
  2. Discouragement – setting unattainable goals, like building a six-pack or losing 10 lbs in one month
  3.  Injury
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23
Aug
0

Fitness Series: Part I- Optimize your Workout

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How Mind Body Studies Can Empower the Athlete and Enhance Ability

MBS Program Director Leora Gaster explains how the principles of MBS can translate to more beneficial physical activity, whether as part of a regular fitness regime, social sports or simply when taking a stroll around the neighborhood.

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High-performing athletes who walk into class expecting to break a sweat are often surprised by MBS group classes, which can often involve small, thought-focused movements. However, the principles behind the classes are directly applied to high-intensity forms of movement and workout routines – whether on the treadmill or in a boxing ring. Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais’ own background in sports, as a boxer and one of the first western Judokas, vastly contributed to how he developed his system. Far from prescribing gentler or more limited forms of activity, Mind Body Studies is designed so that you can actually do more by initially doing less: quantity, effort, and speed, with more intense focus and attention.

All too often, the legacy of Dr. Feldenkrais is lumped together with therapeutic and healing modalities. The methods he developed do improve mobility, agility, coordination, and overall quality of life. However, the Mind-Body-Studies system he devised is, above all, a set of tools, which enables you to work more efficiently and effectively toward your goals. It empowers anyone, at any level, to access complete insight into what they are doing and how they do it – enabling them to expand the boundaries of their physical and mental capacity. Whether the aims are recovery from injury or Olympic-level performance, the principles remain the same: becoming aware of how you operate at your best and building on those patterns to operate even better, faster, easier. Greater awareness leads to control, freedom and resilience, which result in a streamlined and powerful approach to fitness.

 

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07
Aug
0

Revised: Interview with Mia Segal by Thomas Hanna for Somatics Magazine

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Mia Segal recently revised an interview she did with Thomas Hanna in 1985, to bring it up to date with her current thinking.

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This article is a revision of an interview originally published in Somatics Magazine (Autumn/Winter 1985-86); this updated version will be featured in the next 2014 issue of Somatics Magazine-Journal of the Mind/Body Arts and Sciences.

 

Mia Segal was Dr. Feldenkrais's first assistant, collaborator, and associate for sixteen years, after which they trained students worldwide. Of Mia, Feldenkrais said: "With you, I have reached summits that alone, I could not reach. The best lessons I ever gave, were inspired by your encouraging gaze.”

Mia is known for her unequalled mastery of the work and as a superb teacher. The unique design of her programs is testimony to her vast experience and leadership in teaching this method. She is committed to ensure that this work continues in the essential and powerful form it was given to her by Dr. Feldenkrais during their many years of collaboration and friendship. Mia has been acclaimed worldwide as the standard bearer for the applications and philosophy of the Feldenkrais Method™. Mia has a black belt in Judo, which she received in the Kodokan, Tokyo, in 1970.

 

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04
Aug
2

Exploration and Coming Home: Reaching the end of a Foundation Training

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By Danielle Hill

 

Recent MBS graduate Danielle Hill describes her experiences learning with MBS Academy. Like many other students in the 2011-2014 Foundation training, she returned to Bad Toelz this June to make up an earlier segment of the program, which she had missed the first time around. As a result, she directly followed the final chapter of the training program with the very first one. As it turned out, Danielle found that the lessons of Segment I only struck her more deeply.

 

 

 

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." T. S. Eliot

 

 

 

I’m reminded of that Eliot quote often, but over the past week it’s kept ringing in my ears. Three years ago, I arrived in Bad Toelz for the first time. Prior to that, I had attended just a few group and individual lessons in the Feldenkrais Method. A friend had spoken highly of the method, and encouraged me to check it out. I had read one or two of Moshe’s books, and I had seen a clip of Mia teaching on Youtube. That got me. The dynamic language of Feldenkrais’ books resonated with many thinkers, meditators and other Greats, who I had read and admired. And right here – right here on Youtube – was a woman somehow bringing the method to life with such a beautifully quiet presence. I was moved by the light, wakeful quality with which she spoke and touched the students around her.

Although I was largely unable to verbalize any whys or hows, I felt uncharacteristically certain that I had stumbled on something of tremendous value. If I could be a bit creative, perhaps I could make regular transatlantic trips feasible. I began freelancing so that I could be more mobile. I couchsurfed whenever possible and, as if this explorative undertaking were permeating all that I encountered, I began meeting ever more interesting people.

Unlike many of those attracted to the Feldenkrais Method, I (thankfully) hadn’t had any injuries. I wasn’t a dancer or an athlete or a therapist; I had just worked with language, whether teaching, translating or writing. Nothing, it would seem, to do with the body. In fact, I would say that this retreat from the physical was wholly - if unconsciously - calculated. I’d never really shaken my teenage awkwardness, and even as a child, I had often felt ill-at-ease “in my own skin”, loathing athletics classes in grade school. Books, movies and the arts were far more appealing, and not just for their aesthetic pleasures. There was also that allure of escapism, of being divorced from direct physical experience, and even, it seemed, from my own habitual ways of experiencing the world: the relief of even a brief escape from myself. In hindsight, this unresolved tendency was what eventually brought me to the Feldenkrais Method and MBS. In the end, whatever triggers the greatest avoidance will present itself more loudly! And so eventually, I wanted to take a look at what I had been avoiding. I was eager for a means of learning completely grounded in direct experience and personal observation.

Flashing forward to June 2014: I am sitting with the other MBS students, listening to Mia. The training has just begun and many are gathered here for their first time. Mia asks a volunteer to come lie down on the floor and to lengthen her arms and her legs.

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28
Jul
0

Living on the edge or in freedom- Student Testimonial

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Below is a testimonial from MBS Practitioner Jorga Hanesova...

b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC04678.JPGI've been studying with MBS Academy for the last 4 years, and Feldenkrais the last 17. This approach to my own body, and nowadays also the classes with my clients, keeps bringing me back to the question "how small can you make that movement?" or less is more. Patiently, I will keep asking "Can you do less?" And eventually the meaning of this question will become clear to one person or another. The Feldenkrais approach means you take your own way at your own pace. This is what I love about Feldenkrais - it is your own journey that can't be forced from within or without.

When we first start doing a movement in a class we tend to go all the way to our limits, testing them - will they let us go further? Will the limit finally move on its own? Our limit is that point of struggle and stubbornness - where we just want to do it. With no softness, elegance or joy. You actually don't need to keep doing it, if it hasn't brought you anywhere else throughout your life, except to your old familiar limits. Many trainers would approach a movement like so: "Lift your head, lift your chest, now five more times, now 20 more",  ...and now you are huffing and puffing... "That's great!" And since many of those movements are so very simple, many times people ask - WHY can't I do such a simple movement?

And this is where that beautiful quest of discovery starts: what about asking the same question differently?

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02
Jun
0

Meet MBS Trainer Chieko Omiya

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In Conversation with Chieko Omiya

MBS Trainer Chieko Omiya teaches ballet and offers MBS lessons to dancers in Sendai, Japan. She was first introduced to Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement® classes in 1985 and graduated from the Japan Feldenkrais® Training in 2000, learning from Mia Segal as well as Eilat Almagor. From 2011 to 2014, she served as an Assistant Trainer throughout the MBS Foundation Training in Bad Toelz. As that training ends and the next one begins, Chieko reflects on how she found her way to the Feldenkrais Method® and how Mind Body Studes and the method applies to her work with dancers.

 

The Search for A Missing Piece

Chieko began teaching ballet in 1978, having trained in the 1970s under a graduate of the Beijing Dance Academy. As Chieko describes it, it impressed her from the start how “wonderfully logical” ballet was. Although her teacher would instruct the class with only a limited grasp of the Japanese language, Chieko recalls, it was possible to understand just what she wanted of her pupils. At the time, there were no other instructors offering ballet instruction with such a grasp of the theory and such a pure adherence to the ‘ballet education system’. “I was so fascinated to teach my own ballet pupils by that logic,” she explains.

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30
May
0

MBS Practitioner Andrea Bonisonne Testimonial

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b2ap3_thumbnail_foto-2.jpgAndrea Bonissone, a long-time practitioner and participant in the 2011-2014 MBS Professional Foundation Training, shares some of his experiences from the current training and from decades of using the Mind Body Studies method toward improving his own quality of life. At 24, Andrea was diagnosed with Ankylosing spondylitis, a chronic inflammatory disease which primarily affects the spine and sacroiliac joint, causing inflammation and fusion between vertebrae. Since training with Mia Segal in Holland in the 1980s, Andrea has used Feldenkrais along with a few targeted therapies, steadily improving his condition over the past quarter-century.

 

When did you first train with Mia?

Bonissone: At the end of the 80’s, in Nijmedjan, Holland, I attended the complete Basic Training, which now corresponds to the MBS Foundation Program.

 

How did you first hear about Feldenkrais and Mia Segal?

Bonissone: A friend of mine knew, I don’t know how, that there was this opportunity to learn something through this method. I was interested in it because I was taking cortisone at the time, which damaged me a lot. I decided to go to a training, and Mia was a friend of my father. That was how I found out about her. As I did the training, I continued to get some cortisone, but not so much as before.

 

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14
May
0

Testimonial from our London Introductory Workshop- by Janet Heath

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Leora Gaster – An Introduction to Mind Body Studies – the Work of Dr. Feldenkrais

8/9 March 2014

A Master Class in Clarity

 by Janet Heath

From the first “Please lie on your back...” to the final “Any questions?” I sensed we were all enthralled. The group was comprised of people with a wide range of experiences of the work of Dr. Feldenkrais; from reading a book about it to being teachers of several years standing. I was curious as to how “An Introduction….” could be constructed to enable us all to gain something valuable from a two-day workshop. Leora didn’t disappoint. Even the seasoned teachers were heard to say “Amazing!” and “Fantastic!” at the end, and when I spoke to someone who had no experience of Dr. Feldenkrais’ work she said she felt inspired to know and do more.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_1776smaler.jpgSo what is it that makes Leora Gaster such an inspirational teacher? Together with her mother,

Mia Segal, she was my first introduction to Feldenkrais’ work and I remember then the clarity of her teaching and her very evident passion for the subject, which ensured a high level of

attention and interest from all participants. It’s as if she really wants you to “get it” and I know Leora

is dedicated to spreading what she calls “the work” around the globe so that everyone can benefit

from Moshe’s fantastic legacy.

 

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02
Apr
0

Meet MBS Trainer Jochen Jadkowski

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b2ap3_thumbnail_jochen1.jpgMBS Trainer Jochen Jadkowski graduated from Mia Segal’s Zurich 3 Foundation Training in 1993. He has a private practice in Berlin, Germany at Praxis Ayuda, a center where he offers Feldenkrais lessons and his wife (and MBS graduate) Margarethe Jadkowski offers Ayurveda treatments. Jochen worked as a special needs teacher (remedial work with children) from 1991 to 2004 and worked with “Lerina-Therapie” (therapy for children after craniocerebral injuries) from 1985 to 1995. He is also trained in body-centered psychological therapy.

 

During the final segment of the Bad Toelz Foundation training in February 2014, Jochen shared some of his experiences from the training, as well as his own history with MBS and Feldenkrais. We tucked into a quiet corner booth at Bad Toelz’s renowned ‘Café Schuler’ and Jochen recalled his early days and continuing learning over some Bavarian Kaffee and Kuchen.

 

What first lead you to Feldenkrais and MBS?

I was born without a left forearm. So, beginning when I was perhaps eight or ten, a woman called Ms. Haenchen worked with myself and other children. We would paint and do pantomimes, play music, tell fairy tales, and do many other activities.

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05
Mar
0

Learning to Teach... a mentorship by MBS Master Trainers

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Trainer-ladies.jpgMBS Trainer Naomi Silver graduated from MBS Academy in 2003 in the Netherlands. Since then, she has had a private practice in Tel Aviv, where she specializes in working with babies and children, specifically those diagnosed with autism. She also works with adults who bring her a wide range of concerns. She has traveled to Thailand and Burma to learn bodywork and has spent time in monasteries studying meditation and mindfulness work. Naomi also specializes in education, fine arts, health and wellbeing, meditation and Traditional Thai Massage. She holds a degree in Fine Art and Education and has worked as an art teacher at a Montessori School.

Naomi recently served as an assistant trainer for MBS workshops in Germany, Korea and Japan. In the process, she assisted on a wide range of lessons, from post-graduate seminars to introductory workshops, and worked with the full spectrum of MBS students, from seasoned practitioners to first-time participants. Though Naomi has worked as an MBS practitioner for over a decade and has taught at MBS workshops around the world, when she describes her most recent experiences, her emphasis is on how much she continues to learn, from students and teachers.

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10
Feb
0

A Conversation with MBS Trainer, Grace Soeun Doh

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MBS Assistant Trainer Soeun Grace Hong Doh completed her Feldenkrais Training in 2002 and became an MBS Master Practitioner in 2011. She runs a private practice in Seoul, Korea and is organizing and teaching MBS Korea’s first Professional Foundation Training. Her background is in Exercise Physiology, Neuroscience, Biotechnology and patent law.

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Here, Grace shares some of the experiences that have shaped her involvement with Feldenkrais® and eventually MBS, as a student, a practitioner, and an MBS Trainer.

“That was the first time I realized that an FI® and ATM® are really a time to be with the experience, and not to be spoiled with analysis or words. Not just the physical, but the mind aspect as well. I had to continue with the training, because continuing was the only thing that made sense going forward, as a way of becoming more mature, healthier, and more mobile in my life. I learned to pose questions to myself, explore new possibilities, ignite my curiosity and invite subtle changes and transformation.

 

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0
21
Jan
0

Becoming Tangible - "Berührbar"... How Mind Body Studies Can Offer a Helping Hand in Psychiatry and Mental Wellness

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Verena Wenger , a student in MBS Academy’s Advanced Seminars, applies her training as a Feldenkrais practitioner and her studies with MBS to her work with individuals with mental illnesses in a psychiatric clinic in Switzerland. In October 2013, while participating in the Advanced Seminar in Bad Toelz, she shared some of her experiences.

“My job is simply to give some support,” Verena explains. “I offer a space,” she later puts it, with what might appear at first simply to be her modesty. In the “space” that Verena provides, patients start to expand their sensitivity, developing a fuller sense of their bodies, themselves and their own wishes and goals. It soon becomes clear that Verena chooses her words not just out of modesty, but precision; she says of the interaction between a patient and a practitioner:

 

“You can’t find your blind spots completely on your own. That doesn’t generally work. And so you may need a hand, some impulse comes from the outside. But the clarity of becoming aware, of noticing what exactly you’re doing: that comes from oneself.

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An Outside Perspective

After completing her training as a Feldenkrais practitioner, Verena found a position working within a psychiatric clinic, giving one-on-one sessions to the patients. The individuals she sees display a full spectrum of disorders and conditions, including depression, borderline personality disorder, and bipolar disorder. While she has now had ample time to acquaint herself with different “diagnosis pictures”, Verena stresses, “I have – first of all – a person in front of me, and not a mentally ill person or a depressed person or a borderliner. This work is not about working with a diagnosis, but about the person in front of you, and seeing how that person changes. It isn’t even the same person you saw yesterday!”

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20
Dec
0

Learning to Listen- To Stories and Ourselves

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b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_3309.JPGThrough MBS group lessons and storytelling, Jörg Freidanck offers a class of high school students the chance to reacquaint themselves with the pleasures of learning.

Current MBS Foundation student Jörg Freidanck has taught for over 35 years, which means that over 15,000 students have passed through his high school classes in physical education, and some 2,000 students have learned Judo from him. Since studying with MBS, Jörg has begun leading MBS group classes for the faculty of the high school where he teaches. He also offers group classes to the public in his town. At the end of the 2012-2013 school year, Jörg had the opportunity to present Moshe Feldenkrais’ work to a group of high school students as part of the school’s annual week of extracurricular activities and workshops. How he did so was both a natural extension of the principles taught at MBS Academy and a creative response to his class’s particular circumstances.

 

Jörg wanted to offer students the chance to experience, first-hand, the power of a learning environment that is both pleasurable and personal. 

 

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20
Nov
0

A Conversation with MBS Trainers Ingo Herbst, Elke Bruce-Boye and Angelika Kitt

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Between November 2013 and March 2014, three MBS Trainers are leading a series of Introduction to MBS workshops in Munich, Germany. Here, the three trainers, Ingo Herbst, Elke Bruce-Boye, and Angelika Kitt, speak about their own experiences with Feldenkrais and Mind Body Studies and reflect on why and how they’ve put together this workshop series.

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MBS Trainers Angelika, Ingo and Elke

What originally drew you to learning about Feldenkrais and MBS?

[ANGELIKA]  I started to learn this work in 1983. I was fascinated when I heard about Feldenkrais through several different people. One of them was an actor and a friend of mine. He had a teacher who taught Feldenkrais to actors, and my friend was really excited about it, so I became curious. Then, another person mentioned it to me, saying, “We do movements in thinking, and we clarify the movement through thinking.” I found this interesting, because at this time I did Karate-do and in each kata (or form), you see how your opponent starts the movement and you think his movement, and then you do your movement in this same way.

I also had a colleague, a psychologist, and after we had team meetings in the evenings, he always had to rush off so quickly. One day I said, “Wow, you are busy!” He explained, “Oh, I have to go to my Feldenkrais class.” So, I was interested. I tried it out, and one day while I was lying on the floor during a class, suddenly, the feeling came over me that this was my work. I did my training first with Gaby Yaron and then with other teachers.

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16
Nov
0

MBS, Athletics, and Physical Rehabilitation

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The Role of Awareness in Injury Recovery and Athletic Development: A Conversation with Personal Trainer Ian Lim

Current MBS Foundation student and personal trainer Ian Lim discusses how the principles of Mind Body Studies help him connect with his clients’ needs and better prepare them to meet their goals.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Ian-LIm_20150206-185854_1.jpgNext February, Ian Lim will once more fly from Singapore to Germany to participate in the final seminar of the MBS Foundation Training program. With graduation right around the bend, many students are gearing up their own practices at home. Since the beginning, Ian has seen his studies with MBS improve and enhance his skill as a personal trainer. Instead of teaching formal group classes (ATM’s), though, Ian finds that he can best reach his clientele by incorporating a Mind Body Studies approach into his private training sessions. He notes, “It’s about bringing the principles of MBS into the usual fitness work and about guiding the client to become more aware of their movements.”

Sometimes, when a client changes the way they think about a movement it brings the most significant improvement. Ian offers an example: “My clients used to think about just kicking the ball. But the motion, itself, is much more important than what happens with the ball.” So he begins suggesting questions to the client: “‘What do you move first? When do you stop moving when you kick the ball? What do you do when you get to the endpoint? Do you tense up?’ So,” Ian explains, “I slowly move them through their entire movement.” What is the result of shifting attention to the movement, itself, instead of the athletic goal? “More power. More flexibility.”

As it turns out, Ian’s clients perform better overall when he can bring their attention to how they move instead of focusing on the number of repetitions, the maximum speed, or the weight that they press. This same phenomenon holds for clients with highly varied needs.

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24
Sep
0

Advanced Seminars: Key Components to Success

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San Diego, CA - Jan 10-14, 2007

by Amie Slate (Sensible Moves, Los Angeles)

There were about 30 of us who met in a lovely old hotel in downtown San Diego for a 5 day workshop with Mia Segal this January. The weather was literally freezing but Mia and her daughter Leora created a warm, generous atmosphere that had us all learning and working well together. There was such a marked change in the sound of the room during our partnering time over the five days. In the first two days as we were searching for comprehension of what Mia was asking for, there was a lot of talking and noise. For the last three days, the sounds were completely different. There were great, rich silences punctuated with ahs, ooohs, and ah-ha's amid sprinklings of soft laughter.

How did we do that...

Because I knew I was going to write this report, I queried people during the five days and tried to get a feel for common experiences. One thing that I heard from a number of people has to do with Mia and Leora's ideas about knowing, authority and discovery.

They not only behaved, but taught us to behave with less arrogance, less authority and more ability to explore and discover. They showed us how to NOT know as well as how to find out. Leora repeated over and over that in her experience, Guild graduates have plenty of sensitivity (and lots of ideas) but we don't seem to know what to do with what we sense. She described her interest in separating content from form (with a reference to NLP), and in teaching us a form that could be applied to every situation. Interestingly, I think that's exactly what they did. They gave us a very simple, functional framework to apply to our sensing.

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23
Sep
0

Audio ATM: Noguchi

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After an enriching seminar in Palo Alto, California this past August, we thought we'd share a group class taught by Mia Segal.

The first audio clip is the story about this particular ATM called Noguchi. Some may know of this ATM referred to as a different name. However, we wanted to share why Mia calls it Noguchi and how she was first introduced to it by Moshe.

Noguchi Story

The second audio clip is the ATM, beginning with a scan. Please refer to the pictures below for clarification of the movement if necessary. Enjoy!!

Noguchi ATM

 

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15
Sep
0

Top 10 Reasons to Attend MBS Academy's Professional Foundation Training

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  1. MBS Academy’s succinct and comprehensive curriculum graduates MBS Practitioners in 90 days.
  2. Seminars run from Saturday to the following Sunday allowing you to minimize your time away from work and home and save on travel expenses.
  3. Experiential learning through active participation in both group classes and hands-on partner work begins the first day of the training.
  4. We create an enjoyable and safe learning environment where students are encouraged to interact and questions are always welcomed.
  5. Supportive, small group coaching sessions empower students to be confident in teaching group classes.
  6. Our trainers specialize in diverse professional fields, which enable them to address a variety of professional applications and offer multiple perspectives.
  7. Our students understand the works’ inherent simplicity through learning MBS Academy’s Core Principles. 
  8. Judo concepts are openly incorporated into our training curriculum.
  9. We attract a diverse and international student body providing a stimulating learning environment.
  10. MBS graduates create successful professional practices.

For more information on our Professional Foundation Training click here. To read how Mind Body Studies can benefit you, follow this link.

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30
Aug
0

Student Story: Shao Ern and his work with children

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Shao Ern Huang is a current student in the MBS Foundation training. Over the course of his studies with MBS in Singapore; Thailand; and Bad Toelz, Germany, Shao Ern has found ways to apply Mia and Leora’s methods to his own work with special needs children, both through clever innovation and as an extension of his personal values and aims. Here, he shares with the MBS Blog some of his experiences and the connections he’s made along the way.

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Sitting before the perfumed steam of hot cocoa at one of Bad Toelz’s lovelier cafes, Shao Ern has hardly touched his own cup. There’s just too much to tell. We’re on lunch break from the June 2013 MBS Post-Graduate Training course, and Shao Ern is marvelling at the simultaneous simplicity and complexity of the morning’s group class.

“It’s the finesse of doing such a simple movement.  While doing the movement, I thought, ‘Wow, there are so many pieces!’” Holding out his palm, Shao Ern recalls, “You know, Moshe writes in one of his books that if you can differentiate out all of the components of walking, there’s more to it than the lines on your palm. Now I can see, he has a point!”

 

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